"I bought five pieces of fruit cake."
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Is this the rich, heavy fruit cake that in the UK would be made with dried fruit such as currants, sultanas and raisins and served at Christmas? Or does it mean a cake that has fresh fruit on it - which would probably be called a fruit gateau in the UK (and more usually would be on pastry and called a fruit tart)? I don't mind translating it as 'fruit cake' but I would like to know what I would get if I asked for it in China!
了 has two correct options, depending on the sentence.
Firstly, the given translation contains 了 placed next to the verb, which identifies the action done past.
Secondly, if you place 了 on the right, this also expresses the same thing. The sentence then becomes 我买五块水果蛋糕了。However, the sentence can emphasize "change of state", which has more general meaning.
I'm a beginner but this is how I've understood it:
Sentence + 了 It is new information, the information has changed or is in some other way new to the listener. (You saw me doing the dishes but now I've finished them. ) Verb + 了 An action has finished, used only in positive sentences (没/没有 used in negative sentences).
(I ate dinner.)
Also when saying I did A and after that I did B.
(I ate dinner and then I did the dishes.)